Jared Kushner: Oh, THAT Russian Money? I Didn't Know You Meant THAT Russian Money!
We don't know how to tell you this, but it's possible Jared Kushner may have forgotten about yet another Russian connection. We know! It is weird how he always forgets those. He is always meeting with Russian ambassadors and sanctioned Russian state-owned banks and forgetting to mention these things when he's specifically asked about them. As Huffington Post notes, when Jared testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in July, he said in a statement that he "[has] not relied on Russian funds to finance [his] business activities in the private sector." He probably just forgot about these Russian funds:
OH YOU MEAN THAT RUSSIAN MONEY? I DIDN'T KNOW YOU MEANT THAT RUSSIAN MONEY!
So, these Paradise Papers are fun. Along with sexxxy gossip about how Queen Elizabeth sticks all her money in the Caymans and some of Vladimir Putin's son-in-law's money somehow ended up with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's shipping group, we learn about Yuri Milner, a regular jes' folks Russian-American investor who helped the Kremlin funnel billions of moneys into investments in Facebook and Twitter. Also, Milner invested some of his family's own money ($850,000) in Cadre, a start-up owned by Josh and Jared Kushner that Jared forgot to mention when he was doing his financial disclosures. At least it was Milner's family's own money, according to one version of the story:
Cadre initially said in a June press release that Milner’s stake in the company was held through his firm DST. A different version of the release on Cadre’s website said, however, that Milner himself was the investor in Cadre. The breakdown of the $50m funding was not made public by Cadre.
Huh. DST is the vehicle through which the Kremlin money flowed. So maybe the Kremlin went to Jared through this guy Milner, maybe it didn't. Who can say? (Robert Mueller. He is the one who can say.)
Cadre is a very important company, as it is the only entity in the world that makes tiny Obamaphones small enough for kittens to use.
(That is a lie, but financial reporting is fucking boring, so we have to amuse ourselves in some way or another.)
Now, to be clear, the story here is not "RUSSIA JARED MILLIONS INVESTMENTS FACEBOOK TWITTER 2016 ELECTION STEALING." Milner says he's only met J-Kush once and that his investment in Cadre was just business and nothing more. Also, Milner's investment company sold its stakes in Facebook and Twitter several years back, so it would appear that this is separate from questions of Russian meddling in the election.
Still, the revelations bear significance because, as one expert put it, "Kremlin-connected institutions make investments with strategic interests in mind."
And by "strategic," they mean there are political goals in mind.
As for specific numbers, Gazprom, the Russian oil bidness, had a billion dollars in Facebook stock before Facebook's IPO in 2012. Meanwhile, Russian state-owned VTB Bank had Milner invest $191 million in Twitter, which brings the grand total of investments to "8% of Facebook and 5% of Twitter." This is all just very interesting information, considering how Facebook and Twitter are currently in the hot seat over their complicity in the Russian election hacking fiasco, and considering also how Jared Kushner was the man at the top of the Trump campaign's data operation.
Are any of these things related? Fuck if we know.
Will Rachel Maddow 'splain it at 9 PM Eastern on your local MSNBC this evening? Bet your ass.
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